Perhaps a little time at home was all the Atlanta Braves needed to emerge from their recent slump.
One night after rallying for a victory, the Braves look to squeeze another win from the Los Angeles Dodgers at Turner Field on Saturday night.
Atlanta, which played 26 of 34 on the road before starting this three-game set, came home having lost five of six to end a 10-game trip. The Braves hit .210 and scored just 2.8 runs per game over that six-game stretch.
They've been much better at home, improving to 10-5 there with an 8-5 win over the Dodgers on Friday. Atlanta scored six times over the sixth and seven innings to erase a two-run deficit.
The Braves, at long last, have all of their top hitters available. Right fielder Jason Heyward reached base three times and scored twice in his return from an emergency appendectomy. It marked his first action since April 20, after which he hit the disabled list with a paltry .121 batting average.
"We've played 40 games and it's the first time we've had the lineup we talked about all winter," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Atlanta (23-18) still could use more help from its rotation, which has a 6.32 ERA over the last seven games. No Braves starter has made it through the seventh inning since May 9.
Among the Braves pitchers looking for a rebound performance is Saturday's starter, Kris Medlen (1-5, 3.44 ERA). He gave up season highs of three homers and five walks against San Francisco on Sunday, surrendering five runs - three earned - and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-1 loss.
It was just the second time in eight starts an opponent scored more than three runs off Medlen, but he remains stuck on one win - April 9 at Miami - partly because his run support average of 2.72 is among baseball's worst. Atlanta has lost his last five starts.
Medlen, though, has a good history against the Dodgers, going 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA in six games. He's handled Matt Kemp well, allowing just a double in seven at-bats while striking him out four times.
Kemp saw his 14-game hitting streak end Friday. He's 3 for 35 in his last 10 games in Atlanta.
The Dodgers (17-23), who had won four of five before Friday, look to get back on track with Chris Capuano (1-2, 6.60) on the mound. The left-hander is coming off his first win and easily his best performance, throwing just 79 pitches and yielding one run in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-3 victory over Miami.
That came six days after he was ripped for six runs in four innings of a loss to Arizona following a three-week stint on the disabled list for a strained left calf.
"It's been a bit of a nightmare the past week. It's nice to wake up from it," Capuano said. "I was trying to watch some of the good games I had last year, look at what I did to be successful and try to stick with my strengths instead of worrying about getting to the hitters' weaknesses."
Capuano has been very successful versus the Braves lately, going 4-1 with a 1.82 ERA in his last eight starts against them.
However, this will be his first time facing Justin Upton in an Atlanta uniform, and he's gone 5 for 14 with a homer off Capuano. Upton hit a grand slam Friday for his major league-leading 14th homer.
|Jerry Hairston Jr.||3||.000||0||0||0||0||0||.000||.000||.000|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|May 14, 2013||Josh Beckett||15-Day DL||Left groin strain|
|May 08, 2013||Adrian Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Left game - neck|
|May 06, 2013||Jerry Hairston Jr.||Day-to-Day||Strained groin|
|May 06, 2013||Jerry Hairston Jr.||15-Day DL||Strained left groin|
|May 04, 2013||Hanley Ramirez||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|May 03, 2013||Adrian Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|May 13, 2013||B.J. Upton||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left shoulder contusion|
|May 12, 2013||Jordan Walden||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|May 05, 2013||Juan Francisco||Day-to-Day||Sprained right ankle|
|April 25, 2013||Luis Ayala||15-Day DL||Anxiety disorder|
|April 21, 2013||Jason Heyward||15-Day DL||Appendectomy|
|April 21, 2013||Jason Heyward||15-Day DL||Appendectomy|
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Braves already knew rookie Evan Gattis is an impressive power hitter. He's also proving a quick learner.
Gattis took advantage of some last-second tips from teammate Justin Upton before hitting a go-ahead, two-run homer off Kenley Jansen in the eighth inning, and the Atlanta Braves rallied to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Saturday night.
Andrelton Simmons followed Gattis with another homer off Jansen after each listened to quick reminders from Upton on the right-hander's signature cutters.
"I remembered (Upton) said something about (Jansen) in the advance meeting, so I wanted to go to him to see what I could get," Gattis said. "Whatever I could get in an at-bat like that was going to help."
Gattis said Upton's advice was to avoid cutters that appeared to be bound for the middle of the plate, because they would break off the plate. Gattis said Upton's instruction was to wait on a pitch "starting at you, or it looks like it's starting at you. That's going to be the one that you want."
Gattis fouled off two cutters before hitting the line-drive homer.
Jansen (1-2) said Gattis "just hit a good pitch."
"What could I do?" Jansen asked. "I'm not going to let that bother me. Tip your hat. He hit a good pitch. You've got to go in there. Period. He's creeping up on home plate every time I'm throwing outside. I put it where I wanted to put it."
Gattis has eight homers and ranks third in the majors with six game-winning RBIs.
"Awesome," said Simmons of Gattis. "He's awesome. Just amazing. That's all you can say. Pretty much you saw it coming, but just seeing it is awesome. He's a great hitter. He's always ready to go and he's fun to watch."
Gattis, primarily a catcher, also has played left field and first base. The recent returns of catcher Brian McCann and right fielder Jason Heyward from the disabled list may make it difficult for Gattis to find regular playing time, but he said he enjoys pinch-hitting.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez sees a benefit in having Gattis available as a pinch-hitter.
"He likes these moments, it seems like," Gonzalez said. "It's almost better that you can put him in anywhere you want, but sooner or later we've got to get him three or four at-bats."
Kris Medlen , Cory Gearrin , and Craig Kimbrel combined on a two-hitter for Atlanta.
Chris Capuano led 1-0 before he allowed a one-out single to B.J. Upton in the eighth. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly brought in Jansen (1-2), the hard-throwing right-hander, to face Gattis even though Capuano had allowed just five hits and thrown only 91 pitches.
"I'm not going to let him lose that game," Mattingly said of Capuano.
Capuano said he told Mattingly after his last at-bat in the eighth inning to be prepared to pull him out of the game because he had lingering problems with a strained calf.
"It wasn't affecting pitch execution out there," Capuano said. "It just feels a little tired. I've got an extra day before the next start. With treatment and stuff we should be able to get that ready."
Gearrin (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth in relief of Medlen, who gave up two hits and one unearned run in seven innings. Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save.
The Dodgers, who have lost two straight to the Braves after winning four of five, scored their only run in the fourth. Adrian Gonzalez walked and scored on Skip Schumaker 's double to the left-field corner and left fielder Justin Upton 's fielding error. Schumaker wasn't given an RBI.
The only other hit allowed by Medlen was a second-inning single by Tim Federowicz .
"Medlen was outstanding," Gonzalez said. "He was ready for one of these games. You saw seven innings of him being the Medlen of last year."
Chris Johnson had three hits for the Braves, who won after finding themselves in a sudden bullpen crisis.
Before the game, Braves general manager Frank Wren said an MRI revealed a tear in Eric O'Flaherty's left ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. O'Flaherty was placed on the disabled list and could face season-ending surgery.
On Thursday, left-hander Jonny Venters had Tommy John surgery for the second time, ending his season. On Friday, right-hander Jordan Walden was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of shoulder inflammation.
Medlen, who had been 0 for 13 this season, had a brief celebration in the third inning when he had a bloop single for his first hit. Standing and smiling on first base, Medlen lifted his hands to the sky before giving first-base coach Terry Pendleton a hug.
Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp leaped and reached over the wall to take a home run away from Heyward in the first inning. Heyward took off his helmet while crossing second base. Just when it appeared he might toss the headgear in disgust, Heyward instead lifted the helmet toward Kemp in a gesture of respect.
NOTES: The Braves called up RHP Cory Rasmus from Triple-A Gwinnett to take O'Flaherty's roster spot. Rasmus, 25, is the younger brother of Toronto OF Colby Rasmus . ... Medlen lowered his ERA to 3.02. ... Dodgers 2B Mark Ellis , on the disabled list because of a strained right quad, will join the team in Atlanta on Sunday and fly with the team to Milwaukee. .. Mattingly said LHP Ted Lilly (strained right rib cage) will come off the DL soon, but not necessarily to start. ... The series ends Sunday with Braves LHP Mike Minor (5-2) facing Dodgers RHP Matt Magill (0-0).